On National Doctors’ Day, saying thanks is just the start

Kevin B. O'Reilly , News Editor

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day, which provides an opportunity to thank the courageous physicians who have worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives and continue to take on other huge challenges, such as the obesity epidemic and rising rates of type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians

After fighting for physicians during the pandemic, the AMA is taking on the next extraordinary challenge: Renewing the nation’s commitment to physicians.

Recently published research co-written by the AMA shows how the COVID-19 pandemic magnified long-standing issues that have accelerated the U.S. physician burnout rate. At the end of 2021, nearly 63% of physicians reported symptoms of burnout, up from 38% in 2020. Earlier studies show that large-scale change is needed to address the physician burnout crisis.

Physicians have taken care of the nation. Now it’s time for the nation to take care of doctors. It’s time to rebuild, and the AMA is ready.

Related Coverage

Reducing physician burnout must be an urgent national priority

5 keys to rebuilding the medical profession

As physicians’ powerful ally in health care, the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians is rebuilding critical components of the medical profession by:

  • Fixing prior authorization.
  • Leading the charge to reform Medicare pay.
  • Fighting scope creep.
  • Supporting telehealth.
  • Reducing physician burnout.

Read on to find out more about each of these five essential elements of the Recovery Plan.

  1. Fixing prior authorization

    1. Prior authorization is overused, and existing processes present significant administrative and clinical concerns. The AMA’s approach to the prior-authorization challenge includes research, practice resources and reform resources. We’re standing up to insurance companies to eliminate care delays, patient harm and practice hassles. 
  2. Leading the charge to reform Medicare pay

    1. The AMA has challenged Congress to work on systemic reforms and make Medicare work better for you and your patients. Our work will continue, fighting tirelessly against future cuts—and against all barriers to patient care. The evidence is clear. The Medicare payment system is on an unsustainable path, threatening patients' access to physicians.
  3. Fighting scope creep

    1. Patients deserve care led by physicians—the most highly educated, trained and skilled health professionals. The AMA vigorously defends the practice of medicine against scope-of-practice expansions that threaten patient safety.
    2. Related Coverage

      Why we need a recovery plan for America’s physicians
  4. Supporting telehealth

    1. Telehealth is critical to the future of health care, which is why the AMA continues to lead the charge to aggressively expand telehealth policy, research and resources to ensure physician practice sustainability and fair payment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth emerged as a vital way to maintain patient access to high-quality care. The AMA is fighting for legislation to permanently fix the restrictions on telehealth coverage and payment.
  5. Reducing physician burnout

    1. Far too many American physicians experience burnout. That's why the AMA develops resources that prioritize well-being and highlight workflow changes so physicians can focus on what matters—patient care. We are focused on removing administrative burdens, providing real-world solutions and helping physicians rediscover the joy in health care.

The AMA is scoring wins related to the five critical areas being addressed with the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians. Progress made includes stopping bills that would have expanded the scope of practice for nonphysicians, developing resources to fight burnout, and the continued fight for Medicare physician payment reform. Learn more about advocacy efforts to advance the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians.